The church leaders have chosen to believe a young, teenage girl when she tells them people are actually witches. Some of the people "confess" that they are witches, and some refuse to admit this (because they were not in fact witches!). The church leaders had to realize what was happening at some point, but if they decided not to listen to the girls they would be admitting that they were wrong in executing the people. "Experts" are called in to check on the children and they are still believed because of the effect they are having on others in the town. The townspeople become afraid of the girls because they do not want to be killed for no reason. The church leaders are hoping to rid the town of the infidels and hope that by doing so, they are making the town more holy.